Genres:Reggae/Dub, Ska, Jazz - Dixieland/Ragtime, Rock - Surf, Rock - Roots Rock, Latin - Tropical
BIM SKALA BIM was formed in 1983 with the idea that the time was right to bring a blend of rock with traditional Jamaican ska and English “Two-Tone” Ska, sparked by the Specials, the Selecter and Madness, to America. From that point on, along with a few other like-minded bands such as the Toasters, and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, BIM SKALA BIM set out to make the United States a hotbed for ska music. Playing thousands of shows between 1983 and 2003 across the country and around the world, “The Best U.S. Ska Band” (New Musical Express) made their hybrid style of ska, reggae and rock familiar to fans worldwide. Since 2003, the band has been on an extended sabbatical while members pursue other careers and interests.
As one of the world’s longest-running independent bands with over twenty years of touring and recording, BIM SKALA BIM has been the winner of 10 Boston Music Awards, 8 Boston Phoenix Reader’s Poll awards.
BIM SKALA BIM’s approach to songwriting takes ska’s unique rhythm and backbeat and welds it onto a pop song framework. This blend has insured success beyond the world of ska music. The group writes collaboratively, influenced by everyone from Ray Charles, The Clash and Bob Marley to the godfathers of ska, The Skatalites, Prince Buster and Desmond Dekker. This is clearly heard in songs from their 1997 release Universal such as “Pete Needs a Friend,” “Not Natural” and “Rings of Saturn.” Add the ska/punk energy of “Freeman” and “Johnny O’Reilly,” and the band’s cover of “Shakin’ All Over” (originally done by Johnny Kid and the Pirates, and made famous by The Who) along with the soulful reggae of “Same Mistake” and you’ve got an album that is wide-ranging as well as stylistically coherent.
Evidence of BIM SKALA BIM’s appeal can be seen in the substantial radio play and impressive charting (Gavin and CMJ) of the band’s previous releases on rock and ska shows across the country. In 1997, the album Universal stayed on CMJ’s Top 200 chart for 13 weeks, peaking at #23. The album also appeared on the Core Radio and AAA charts for several weeks and was #103 on CMJ’s “Top 200 ’97” chart. Rights to all of Bim’s releases were procured by MTV. They have used the group’s music in many episodes of “The Real World” and “Road Rules.” The video for “Pete Needs a Friend” from Universal was accepted for play on MTV’s “120 Minutes” and has been aired on MTV’s sister station M2.
With the help of various licensing arrangements BIM SKALA BIM’s music is still very present on TV and in movies as well as through the various internet sources for downloading music. A Google search under BIM SKALA BIM’s name will reveal over 45,000 links related to the band.